The 15th Annual Heirloom Apple Day at Scott Farm Orchard on Kipling Road in Dummerston, VT beckons apple lovers of all ages to celebrate this iconic fall fruit. Come visit the 571-acre historic farm and orchard that border Rudyard Kipling’s former Vermont home, Naulakha, and other historic rental properties owned and renovated by Landmark Trust USA.
On Sunday, October 8 at 10 AM, Noon and 2 PM, Scott Farm’s Orchardist Zeke Goodband entertains guests with the enlightening history of the orchard and its ecologically-grown fruits, accompanied by a free tasting of some of the more than 120 varieties of heirloom apples grown on the property.
Sample Old World and Early American heirloom varieties such as Esopus Spitzenburg, a favorite of Thomas Jefferson, grown at Monticello; Reine des Reinette, a French apple from the 1700s, considered the best hard cider apple in Normandy; Blue Pearmain, a New England apple dating back to the 1700s, mentioned by Henry David Thoreau in his journal, and Cox’s Orange Pippin, an English favorite, awarded the highest honors by the Royal Horticultural Society—just to name a few of the exciting flavors bound to excite your palate.
According to Goodband who will be giving the talks, “There’s Blue Pearmain, Thoreau’s favorite. And Belle de Boskoop, a strudel specialist. And Ashmead’s Kernel: “It would be referred to as ‘fine-grained’ flesh, but there’s almost a crystal quality to it. When you pick it at the right time, it’s just exquisite. That’s the one, more than any other apple, where people pick it and come back and say, ‘Oh, that’s the best apple I’ve ever had!’ When someone says that, it makes all the work of an entire year worthwhile.”
Following the talks and tastings, guests can fill bags with their favorite selections—all available for purchase.
Visitors can also pick their own apples in the PYO orchard or select them from multiple apple bins in the Farm Market, along with Scott Farm Orchard’s heirloom cider, freshly baked apple pies, fruit jams and jellies, and more.
In addition to the apple talks and tastings, Whetstone Ciderworks, of Marlboro, VT, will be on hand to offer samples of their artisanal wine-like, award- winning hard ciders, such as Orchard King, Orchard Queen, Barnyard Blend, and Moonlighter—blended primarily with apples from Scott Farm Orchard.
"This is our favorite event of the year, when apple enthusiasts from all over New England come and sample our apples fresh, baked and squeezed!”, says Operations Manager Kelly Carlin of Scott Farm Orchard and The Landmark Trust USA.
Rigani Wood-Fired Pizza of Brattleboro, VT, will be on premises with their portable wood-fired oven, cooking up and vending artisanal pizzas featuring local ingredients.
In keeping with the Farm’s mission to share living history, preserve and perpetuate heirloom apples and small fruits, and educate people about their cultivation and uses, Scott Farm also offers a variety of fall workshops. Local cider maker Jason MacArthur of Whetstone Ciderworks teaches an introduction to making hard cider on Oct 1; and Pastry Chef Laurel Roberts Johnson of The Queen of Tarts offers hands-on apple and fruit pie making workshops on Oct 21 and Nov 11; and Master Brewer Thomas Coleman teaches an introduction to brewing beer with wet hops. harvested from Scott Farm’s hop yard, on Sept 9 and 24.
To further showcase the many delicious uses of apples, Scott Farm and the Vermont Fresh Network co-host the 10th annual Heirloom Apple Harvest Dinner at the Farm on Oct 28. The five-course meal, prepared by Chef Tristan Toleno of Entera Catering, features heirloom apples and heirloom cider with other local foods.
For more information on Heirloom Apple Day, workshops, and the dinner, please visit ScottFarmVermont.com/workshops-more, call 802-254-6868, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scott Farm Market is open daily through November 22, and You-Pick apples are available September into October.
Established in 1791 when George Washington was serving his first term as President, Scott Farm consists of 571 acres and 23 buildings, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1995 the Vermont non-profit Landmark Trust USA took over the farm. The Trust has since restored many of the buildings, and under the guidance of Orchardist Zeke Goodband, has converted the orchard from conventionally-grown McIntosh to more than 120 ecologically- grown heirloom and uncommon apple varieties. The farm also grows peaches, plums, nectarines, pears, grapes, cherries, quince, medlars, gooseberries, and hops. Four fully restored historic vacation rentals, surrounding the farm, are available for short or long term self-catered stays throughout the year. Details at LandmarkTrustUSA.org.
Photo credit: KellyFletcherPhotography.com